You own your body. Before anyone can do anything to your body, they need your consent. The same applies to any doctor you may consult with about your health, as they will be affecting your body in a major way. Even though doctors intend to help you, you must know exactly how they will do so. It is their professional duty to acquire your informed consent.
How can a doctor fail to get your informed consent?
Just because they made the right diagnosis and gave you proper treatment does not mean they took it upon themselves to acquire your informed consent. A doctor can be guilty of medical malpractice if they do not fully disclose and explain any of the following:
- Your medical diagnosis
- All available treatments and procedures
- Purpose of and the reason behind the preferred treatment or procedure
- If there are alternatives to the treatment
- The risks and success rate of the treatments, medication, or any procedure
- Your recovery time for each treatment or procedure
- Effectiveness of medications and adverse consequences
- All the expenses and the likelihood your insurance covers the expenses
- The duration of rehabilitation
- What you can do to increase the success rate of the treatment or procedure
You may be unaware that a certain medication is causing nausea, heart palpitations or liver failure. You could have stopped taking them and sought immediate medical attention if you knew.
Get educated before getting treated
Failure to get a patient’s informed consent can be a civil or criminal offense. Make sure that whatever choice you make for the well-being of your body is your own justified and educated decision.